IBTM in Barcelona: Technology trends in the event industry

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The marketing team of Apiumhub attended the IBTM event in Barcelona, formerly known as EIBTM – biggest and leading global event for the meetings and events industry, held in the vibrant business and tourism destination of Barcelona. This year was a special year there and that’s why we attended it. Of course, you want to know what was so special? Technology trends in the event industry! Now event organizers look for the leading technology and inspiration ideas to be different from others and make the most of the digital experience. Once again, we note a growth in technology demand. 

Technology changes events, make them more interactive, engaging and make people say “wow”.

In IBTM we met absolutely outstanding companies with innovative ideas like mash machines  that make events different just by applying technology trends in a different way, that no one would think of. They facilitate life of the attendees, make them participate in the discussions and interact with the brand.

The Technology trends applied to the events services is dedicated to showcasing the industry’s most technologically products and service possibilities that are designed to improve many areas of the MICE experience.

We saw huge opportunities for us in this industry as we have already developed mobile apps for leading European event organisers like Eventeye, working on UX side and coming up with different engagement tools, for example augmented reality. 

The event itself delivers three days of focused access to a dynamic business environment, thought provoking professional education and business networks for Exhibitors, Hosted Buyers and Trade Visitors.

Exhibitions unite global companies from around the world. IBTM hosts over 120,000 face-to-face meetings every year. From the buzzing show floors and fantastic networking events to the inspirational knowledge program where the business of meetings and technology could see the way of the collaboration.

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The key topic was about technology trends in the event industry, how can it help you maximize the value of meetings and events? 

I want to share with you some insights from the conferences we attended there – the industry is moving! Technology has always played a huge role pushing the boundaries of what is possible at events and improving the industry, today, technology trends keeps on increasing and plays an even bigger role from event marketing, admission control, operations, health and safety to attendee engagement.

Technology trends in events are today much more integral than it was even 3 years ago. Everything from event signage to interactive experiences for attendees to the social media usage at events has been completely transformed by technology over the past few years. We believe that these trends will continue to grow, it’s a never-ending process, as marketers will come up with the latest technologies to make their event experiences more interactive, engaging and personalized to the needs of the specific attendee.

We believe that technologies that facilitate real-time data capture and prospect intelligence such as digital badges using Near Frequency Communication (NFC) will completely transform the event experience as a whole by allowing companies to know who they are talking with right away and deliver personalized meaningful experiences.

Soon we will see how mobile technologies and location-based services will replace some of the traditional and manual event practices such as paper badges and name cards, so all of the information you could possibly want at an event will only be one touch of your phone away.

We see a very fast growth in mobile and digital technologies usage in the event industry. We are sure that these technologies will be a central part of the event experience in the future, as they will enable event marketers to connect with potentials and exhibitors and share relevant information in real-time. Mobile event alerts and attendee check-ins, digital signage, panel session notifications, relevant exhibitor-to-attendee content distribution, and other related features will only continue to play a more central part of the event experience as innovation never stops.

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For example, Apiumhub helps companies drive real-time leads at their events and then transfer the information immediately into their CRM and marketing automation systems so that they can follow-up and close leads in a faster and smarter way!

The customer is key, more than ever before. The evolution of technology trends over the last years has changed the industry completely, it’s no longer about B2B or B2C, it’s about a brand’s relationship with the customer. Event participants now have higher expectations than ever before, they want to be engaged and gain personal and organizational value from their attendance to an event.

Event planners now have the opportunity to make every moment special and engage with their audience both online and offline. Before, during and after, messages can be reinforced through the use of social media, email, mobile and other platforms. Now even shy people can ask questions in real time via mobile app “ questions” section but before mobile apps, they would never ask them because of their shy character, now they feel like they are part of it.

With the help of technology, now event organizers can understand the audience profile before an event. They can deliver a targeted message – for example, push notification that can create buzz and drive engagement. The message can be further reinforced onsite with real time communication and feedback, allowing planners to gather invaluable information and drive maximum value for attendees.

Process automation and data gathering enable event organizers to measure everything and take better. Wearables, mobile devices and sensor technology can play a part in this, for example for cashless payments, automatic check-ins and creating interactive displays on the event floor – all this makes a difference. 

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Drones became important for creative event organizers. Drones are normally used to capture aerial photography and video during events. But now more and more people start using them for guiding visitors and assisting with check-in and emergency situations. 

IBTM world is where event organizers, clients and tech providers like Apiumhub meet for global business adventures.

This event is perfect for innovators and talented entrepreneurs with innovative ideas! We were happy to be part of one of the most exciting IBTM world innovation experience, where we could share our services in the global meetings and events sector.


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  • Ekaterina Novoseltseva

    Ekaterina Novoseltseva is an experienced CMO and Board Director. Professor in prestigious Business Schools in Barcelona. Teaching about digital business design. Right now Ekaterina is a CMO at Apiumhub - software development hub based in Barcelona and organiser of Global Software Architecture Summit. Ekaterina is proud of having done software projects for companies like Tous, Inditex, Mango, Etnia, Adidas and many others. Ekaterina was taking active part in the Apiumhub office opening in Paseo de Gracia and in helping companies like Bitpanda open their tech hubs in Barcelona.

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